Gordon Brown is launching a campaign which he believes can save thousands of jobs
Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown appeared on Good Morning Britain today to talk about his campaign to save thousands of jobs ahead of the enormous amount of unemployment due to hit the UK.
It is feared that coronavirus has ravaged the economy to such an extent that unemployment could rocket to four million by the end of the year.
Believing that the government need to have a "recovery plan" for the upcoming furlough deadline on October 31, Mr Brown said: "We need to avoid a cliff edge on October 31st. The health successes have been too few for us to be able to say that the lockdown is completely over for everyone. Therefore we need new measures and I don’t think the government’s plan is up to it."
Outlining his ideas, Mr Brown continued: "What I say is three things. One is to extend the furlough part-time in particular sectors, perhaps linked to some training programme.
"Secondly, we’ve got to help young people. We face the worst Labour market for young people for 50 years. Thirdly, we’ve got to help businesses recover. They need to invest and they can’t invest if they’re having to pay back some of the loans that have been charged upon them in the last few months. We need to do all these things and we need to do it urgently to avoid what’s going to happen in October,"
"Three million people could be unemployed. If it gets to that stage, then we are facing long term damage, losing skills, losing capacity, we cannot afford not to spend now to save later," he added.
Balancing the argument, Kate asked Mr Brown if he could see how impossible the idea of subsidising vast parts of the industry to prevent unemployment must be, and he said: "Yes, but this is a once in a century event. It’s totally unparalleled and we can’t just destroy our economy because we’re worried about the next pound. We really have to take action now to save money later."
Mr Brown went on to say he’s worried about youth unemployment: "In some communities, unemployment among black people will get to 20 to 25 per cent, young people will get to 50 per cent. We cannot allow this to happen because the scarring that is done for the long term is so huge. We’ve got to act as a community…the government should be talking to these people about the next stage we should do.
"I think we can unite around a national plan that takes us through the next few months… improve the youth employment plan, help businesses who can’t both invest and pay back their loans by maybe taking shares in them if necessary on a temporary basis, give the Bank of England a stronger remit to pursue employment as one of its mandates, help the town centres and get them back to life where it becomes possible, but recognise you can’t expect the economy to be back to full capacity if every day you’re changing the rules."
During the interview, Mr Gordon also shared his thoughts on Brexit and the government appearing to be about to break international law if they continue to rewrite parts of the withdrawal agreement.
Believing that it's "an act of self-harm", Mr Gordon warned that "Boris Johnson has to wake up to the fact that we don’t have a clean break, that we have something other than a no-deal."
He added: "My fear is we’ll have such a minimal deal that we’ll be in a battle with Europe for years ahead and that really does not make sense if we want people to have jobs in our economy.”